Tanya Cross (Jo Joyner)


Tanya may be one of Walford’s most loving mums, but she also has a wild side. And believe us, her bite is far worse than her bark…

Just ask ex-husband Max Branning who she drugged and buried alive as punishment for cheating on her. Whereas most wronged women might slap him across the face… cut the sleeves off his best suit… Tanya likes to go that extra mile.

Fortunately, Tanya isn’t a monster. She regretted her actions and dug him up. They talked things through and eventually got back together, only to break up again at a later date.

Tanya is Walford’s premier yummy mummy to daughters Abi and Lauren and baby son Oscar. Tanya’s loving, caring, fun to be around and if you need your nails doing, she’ll have her beauticians’ kit round yours faster than you can say ‘acrylics’.

After all her trauma with Max, she's finally bagged herself a Ex-hubby; in the form of Greg Jessop. Fingers crossed this marriage really will be forever after.


Tanya's Life on the SquareEdit

Tanya arrives in Albert Square to collect her husband after his car breaks down, unaware that he is visiting his family in Walford. She stays, despite finding out that Max is having an affair with a woman named Gemma Clewes (Natalie J. Robb). To make it up to her, Max buys Tanya her own salon, which she names Booty. Tanya is unaware that Max has embarked on an affair with Bradley's ex-girlfriend, Stacey Slater, but she begins to grow suspicious of his strange behaviour. Max persuades Tanya to have another baby she becomes pregnant. At Peggy Mitchell's (Barbara Windsor) birthday party, Tanya gets into a fight with Stacey until Max and Stacey's brother Sean (Robert Kazinsky) break them up. She receives a visit from Rainie, who claims that she is off drugs. Tanya gives her a choice between taking some money or staying and getting help for her addiction. Rainie takes the money and leaves. Sean uncovers Max and Stacey's affair when he sees them together but does not tell Tanya. He asks her to leave Walford with him, and Tanya says if she were not married then she might. Tanya gives birth to Oscar Branning. Relations between her and Max temporarily improve, until on Christmas Day, Bradley and Stacey's wedding video is played, showing footage of Max kissing Stacey. Tanya is horrified and tells Max to leave, demanding a divorce. She begins a relationship with Sean, and plots with him to get revenge on Max. She drugs him, and she and Sean buried him alive, however, she feels guilty and digs him back up. They fight, but eventually share their feelings, and Max decides to leave to give Tanya time to recover. Tanya breaks up with Sean, telling him she was using him all along. Rainie returns, saying she has given up drugs, and returns Tanya's money. Max calls social services Tanya tries to prove to Max that Rainie is clean by having her take a drugs test, but it shows she is taking cannabis. Tanya orders her to leave.

Tanya begins a relationship with Max's brother, Jack Branning (Scott Maslen). Max returns and is furious with the development and tries to separate them. Max is abducted and beaten by Jack, and Tanya takes pity on him and they kiss. Max is run down in a deliberate hit-and-run. Tanya admits to the police that she tried to kill Max, however Lauren was the true culprit. Tanya ends her relationship with Jack. On the day of Lauren's trial, Tanya and Max kiss even though their divorce has become final. He tries to get back with her again, but she wants to concentrate with taking care of Lauren and encourages him to meet someone else. She later admits to her friends that she is still in love with him. Tanya invites Max over intending to sleep with him. Max, wanting a proper and long-term relationship, persuades Tanya to make another go of their marriage and they start a secret relationship. Abi later overhears them talking and tells Lauren they are back together. Tanya lets Max move back in.

Tanya and her friend Jane Beale (Laurie Brett) decide to swap lives for a week due to their respective husbands rowing over their children. Tanya lives with Jane's husband Ian Beale (Adam Woodyatt) and finds a pack of condoms belonging to Peter. After another argument, Max ends the swap. When Jane leaves Ian, he asks Tanya for a makeover. He misunderstands her and flirts with her, resulting in her throwing wine over him. With just 2 weeks until Christmas, Tanya starts to do some Christmas shopping, however when she returns home she finds debt collectors in her house collecting all of her and Max's assets and discovers that Max has been hiding the family's financial problems from her. She realises that she cannot trust him any more after discovering that Booty was to close down, packs her bags and drives out of Walford with Lauren and Oscar, leaving Abi behind after she refuses to leave Max.

On Christmas Day, Max phones Tanya and she comes back to take Abi with her. Abi later moves back with Max after saying she hates living with her mother. Tanya is informed of Bradley's death by phone and Max's sister Carol Jackson (Lindsey Coulson) tells her he does not wish to speak to anyone. Lauren tells Max that Tanya has met a man called Greg Jessop (Stefan Booth). On Abi's birthday, Max discovers that he and Tanya are divorced, and when he takes Lauren and Abi home to Tanya, he storms in demanding to see Tanya, saying he still loves her. However, Tanya says she has moved on and reveals she and Greg are engaged and will be married in a few months. Tanya later turns up at Max's realising that Lauren has gone there, as she was meant to pick her up from the airport after she was sent home from the United States for smoking drugs. Tanya meets Max's ex-girlfriend Vanessa Gold (Zoe Lucker) and successfully persuades her to go back to Max, as she can see that he really loved her.

Tanya strikes up a friendship with Syed Masood (Marc Elliot) after they both become annoyed with how they are treated by Roxy at the salon. They decide to go into business together and move most of Roxy's equipment in Tanya's living room, much to Greg's horror. During the week of her wedding, Tanya is surprised when her mother, Cora Cross (Ann Mitchell) arrives in Walford, bringing Rainie with her, who insists she is clean. After marrying Greg, she learns that Max and Abi were in a traffic collision and rushes to the hospital. She finds Abi and fears Max is dead. When she finds him, they passionately kiss until Greg and Vanessa arrive. Before Tanya and Greg go on their honeymoon, Max confronts Tanya about their kiss but she says it was an accident. Tanya and Max start up an affair after the honeymoon and Max rents a flat for them to use but Lauren discovers this and Tanya decides to end the affair. However, Tanya continues to see Max. Tanya thinks she might be pregnant and tells both Max and Greg, but it is negative. Greg and Tanya then plan to have a baby, while Tanya takes every opportunity to see Max. Greg then discovers that Tanya is secretly taking oral contraceptive pills, which Lauren claims are hers. Greg is annoyed when Tanya allows Rainie and Cora to stay. Max and Tanya agree to tell Greg and Vansessa that they are together but Tanya discovers Oscar is at the doctor's surgery, where Doctor Yusef Khan (Ace Bhatti) explains to Tanya that her cervical smear test has revealed abnormal cells which could be cancerous. She decides not to tell anyone and goes for further tests alone.


Greg JessopEdit

When Max and Tanya's relationship fell apart, Greg was there to pick up the pieces.

Max BranningEdit

Max loves Tanya, but his wandering eye and dodgy dealings have threatened their marriage again and again. After discovering Max had been lying about his debts, Tanya finally had the courage to leave him.

Al JenkinsEdit

Tanya went on a hot date with the doctor, but it went cold when Max turned up at Fargo's.

Jack BranningEdit

Tanya and Jack's plans to move to France with the children were scuppered by the attempt on Max's life.

Sean SlaterEdit

Sean offered Tanya a shoulder to cry on when she learned of Max's infidelity.

Key DatesEdit

(03 Jul 2006)Edit

Moving into the Square without knowing that Max has a family living nearby.

(03 Jul 2006)Edit

Max surprising her by buying the nail salon for her to run.

(14 Aug 2006)Edit

Max's ex-wife turning up in the Square.

(29 Aug 2006)Edit

Kissing Sean.

(16 Jan 2007)Edit

Finding out about Abi's accident and blaming Max.

(10 May 2007)Edit

Revealing that she was pregnant after accusing Max of having an affair with Carly

(25 Dec 2007)Edit

Discovering that Max had had an affair with Stacey.

(21 Mar 2008)Edit

Burying Max alive as punishment for having an affair, but then feeling guilty and digging him up again.

(29 May 2008)Edit

Kissing Max's brother Jack for the first time.

(11 Nov 2008)Edit

Being remanded in custody for Max's attempted murder after he was mowed down in the Square.

(01 Dec 2008)Edit

Finishing her relationship with Jack when he visits her in prison.

(02 Jan 2009)Edit

Pleading guilty in court for running over Max.

(20 Feb 2009)Edit

Being given a suspended sentance on her birthday.

(11 May 2009)Edit

Going out on a date with Dr Al to Fargo's and Max turning up.

(09 Jun 2009)Edit

Accepting a loan from Max.

(15 Jun 2009)Edit

Sharing a steamy encounter with Max.

(13 Jul 2009)Edit

Making out with Max, but telling him to keep it secret from the girls.

(21 Sep 2009)Edit

Participating in a wife swap with Jane, Ian and Max.

(11 Dec 2009)Edit

Leaving Max after discovering he had been lying to her about his debts.

(05 March 2010)Edit

Going to Bradley's funeral and admitting to Max that she has a new boyfriend.

(23 June 2010)Edit

Telling Max that she's engaged to Greg.

(27 Sept 2010)Edit

Enjoying a frosty encounter with Vanessa as they meet for the first time.

(01 Oct 2010)Edit

Trying to convince Vanessa that Max isn't all bad...

(03 Jan 2010)Edit

Announces that they are planning to move back to the Square at No:27.

(04 Jan 2010)Edit

The couple announce they have set a date for their wedding.

(24 Jan 2011)Edit

Moves in to No: 27 with Greg.

(14 April 2011)Edit

Marries Greg, despite having serious doubts during the ceremony.

(15 April 2011)Edit

Kisses Max in the hospital after discovering he survived the car crash.

(09 May 2011)Edit

Informs Max that there is nothing between them anymore.

(02 Sept 2011)Edit

Finds out about her cancer from the doctor.

About Jo JoynerEdit

Jo was born in Essex but grew up in the Midlands.

Jo's role in Channel Five's sketch show Swinging won her a Rose d'Or international award for best female comedy performer in 2006.

She enjoys collecting shoes and jackets.

Star sign: Gemini

Eye colour: Blue

Height: 1.60

First appearance: 27.06.2006 Last appearance: 19 .02.2015

Jo's TV credits include Clocking Off, The Second Coming, North And South, Doctor Who, Swinging and No Angels.

Her character in No Angels, Beth, had a steamy romp with a male nurse, played by Tom Ellis.

While at Stratford-upon-Avon college, Jo played a male role in Brendan Behan's play The Hostage.